GEGI and the Inter-American Dialogue present the 2013 update for the China-Latin America Finance Database. The database is the most up-to-date source of information on Chinese lending activity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Based on original findings from a report led by GEGI’s Kevin P. Gallagher with colleagues at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute titled “The New Banks in Town: Chinese Finance in Latin America,” the database includes upwards of $100 billion in loan commitments to Latin American and Caribbean countries, searchable by country, lender, sector and year.
Through “map” and “column” views, the updated database illustrates that:
- Our data indicates an increase in Chinese lending to LAC in 2013, following a considerable drop in 2012. In 2012, Chinese banks issued only $3.5 billion in new finance – the lowest amount since 2006. In 2013, Chinese banks issued approximately $15 billion in loans to individual Latin American and Caribbean governments and companies. China Development Bank provided 79 percent of the total sovereign lending and China Ex-Im Bank provided 9 percent.
- Chinese banks continue to finance a different set of countries than the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and North American and European banks. Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela, which are not able to borrow as easily in global capital markets, have been a focus of Chinese lending in Latin America. In Latin America and elsewhere in the world, Chinese lending is considered to be both profit-driven and a form of diplomacy. Chinese banks finance a different set of countries than the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and North American and European banks. Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela, which are not able to borrow as easily in capital markets, have been a focus of Chinese lending in Latin America.
- In addition to lending to individual nations and firms, China also offered loans for region-wide projects and development initiatives in certain sub-regions. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $3 billion in funding for nine Caribbean nations. Also in 2013, a first-ever People’s Bank of China (PBoC) loan supported the establishment of a joint financing initiative with the Inter-American Development Bank.
Chinese Finance to Latin America Tops $100 Billion Since 2005
By Amos Irwin and Kevin Gallagher